Tamil Nadu health department has commenced a major drive against Tuberculosis (TB) after 5,000 people were reported dead in the state due to the disease in 2022.
Sources in the state health department told IANS that a study conducted by the department has revealed that 25 per cent of those diagnosed with Tuberculosis were diabetic. The state tuberculosis cell has now commenced testing for tuberculosis among diabetics patients in the state.
The state tuberculosis cell has also started providing training to mid-level health workers who are engaged in Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam (MTM) scheme and these workers will be provided with an incentive of Rs 500 for every positive TB case detected.
While the state TB cell has volunteers who can detect the cases, the department is involving health workers from other parts of the health department in TB detection and awareness.
In 2022, Tamil Nadu reported 93,500 notified TB cases of which 25 per cent are diabetic. Dr. Asha Fredrik, State TB officer while speaking to media persons said, “We are checking for TB among diabetic patients and will be providing training to mid-level health providers engaged in MTM scheme to test diabetic patients for TB especially if they show symptoms for Tuberculosis.”
Medical officers of the Tamil Nadu health department warned that patients who are having cough with sputum for a minimum of two weeks with unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite and with blood-stained sputum must test for TB.
The state Tuberculosis department is engaging MTM volunteers for detecting TB as they make daily house visits, deliver medicines as also checking for diabetes and blood pressure among residents.
Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvum (MTM) scheme is to provide emergency health care at the doorsteps of people and was launched in in the state in 2021 after the DMK government assumed office.